Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

February 2023

Honoring Black History Month

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Spotlighting recent work

Kindergarten students recently read the early childhood informational text All the Colors We Are: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color (bilingual Spanish text) and engaged in a guided discovery lesson using skin tone colored paints! Students asked and answered many thoughtful questions around key details in the text and described the connection between pieces of information in the text around skin color! For example, they generated their own ideas and shared background knowledge about where skin color comes from, and learned in the text that humans get their skin color in three ways: from melanin, from the sun, and from their family/relatives/ancestors. Students then explored paint colors and mixed their own skin color using various paints. We then created a class display of handprints. This lesson is a developmentally appropriate example of the ways in which educators can meet curricular standards and objectives while simultaneously fostering joy, comfort, and pride in human diversity.

If you are interested in focusing on this at home, wonderful books and resources for families abound, but here are just a couple: the ADL’s Early Childhood FAQ section for families and the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s anti-bias site.
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Doves of Peace in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Mrs. Duncan's Kindergarten Class at Middlebury Elementary School

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Are you interested in joining Middlebury & Southbury's Equity & Inclusion Council?

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Parents/guardians, current or former students, and community members are welcome to email msburyequityinclusioncouncil@gmail.com to indicate your interest in joining the council. To learn more about the council, click the link below to explore the website.

Read Aloud Video

Please consider sharing this read aloud video featuring Region 15 students with your family! This particular video was filmed in 2022, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day. The text featured, Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott, shares the true story of Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere, a grassroots project to provide food and funds for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Dr. King appears in the text as a secondary character. We are spotlighting this text and our student readers to draw attention to the the many important contributions of changemakers and organizers who were everyday people like you and me, working so that the nation's promise of liberty and justice for all can be realized, and for racism to be stomped out alongside Dr. King during the Civil Rights Movement, and still today.

There are questions for discussions included in the video throughout so that you may pause to talk with one another to make meaning together.

Interested in learning more about Georgia Gilmore?

Pies From Nowhere

Calendar of Religious Observances: February 2023

Why is this information important?

  • The towns of Middlebury and Southbury are made up of families representing many different religious and cultural identities.

  • The information below is offered as a resource to increase awareness of & respect for religious observations and ethnic and cultural festivities. These observances may affect students, colleagues and neighbors in our community.

What are some ways this information can be used?

Calendar planning by for use in scheduling and planning details, for example:

  • workplace festivities

  • community events

  • school activities and exams

Click to access the ADL 2023 Calendar of Observances

Because our intention in sharing this information is to increase awareness of and respect for religious observations and ethnic and cultural festivities that may affect students, colleagues and neighbors in our community, your input is important. Please email equity_inclusion@region15.org if there is something we missed!

Where has the Equity & Inclusion newsletter been?

As teacher in Residence for Diversity and Cultural Competency, it is a joy to share examples of current work and to share resources with all of you. This is the first newsletter of the 22-23 year because I was on maternity leave but now am back and am glad to share with you.


Instagram: r15equity_inclusion

The importance of listening to your lived experiences, insights, ideas, and perspectives cannot be overstated. Please feel free to reach out! We'd love to connect.

*Note: Quotation (c) 2019 CLC Collective and Dottir Press